Catherine Welch

News Director

Catherine Welch is news director at Rhode Island Public Radio. Before her move to Rhode Island in 2010, Catherine was news director at WHQR in Wilmington, NC. She was also news director at KBIA in Columbia, MO where she was a faculty member at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism. Catherine has won several regional Edward R. Murrow awards and awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc., New England AP, North Carolina Press Association, Missouri Press Association, and Missouri Broadcasters Association.

Now that she manages a full newsroom she files less regularly for NPR’s All Things ConsideredMorning Edition and Weekend Edition.  In 2009 she was part of an NPR series on America’s Battalion out of Camp Lejeune, NC following Marine families during the battalion’s deployment to southern Afghanistan. And because Wilmington was the national test market for the digital television conversion, she became a quasi-expert on DTV, filing stories for NPR on the topic.

Catherine got her start in radio at her family’s radio station in Florida with her weekly jazz show "Catherine Keeping You Company." Her very first interview was with Cab Calloway, and it remains the strangest one she’s ever done. She will gladly tell you the story should you ask.

Before joining the public radio family, Catherine worked in television at KTVU in Oakland, CA and at the cable technology network formerly known as TechTV.

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Arts & Culture
2:03 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Sea Life and Waves Roll Along I-95 Underpass in Providence

The murals along Eddy Street features whales, dolphins and other sea creatures.
Credit James Baird

A mural commissioned to mark Rhode Island Hospital’s 150th anniversary was unveiled Tuesday morning in Providence.

Dolphins, whales, harbor seals and an octopus mingle among the blue and violet waves that roll down the walls of the Eddy Street underpass. Artist Kenn Speiser says the waves are meant to have a calming effect on drivers as they buzz by.

Speiser and his team painted during the day for about three weeks, getting plenty of feedback along the way.

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Hot City
11:32 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Hot City: Providence Crime Stats

City-wide Crime Stats | Create infographics

Data from: Providence Police Department

Hot City: Crime in Providence
7:33 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Hot City: Crime on Smith Hill’s Oakland Avenue

A dozen crimes were reported on Oakland Avenue in Smith Hill in July of 2012.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

With the rising temperatures comes a spike in crime across the capital city. In a series we’re calling Hot City: Crime in Providence we’re taking a look at summer crime by focusing the month of July. Last year the area encompassing Smith Hill, Elmhurst and the North End saw the highest number of crimes. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch visits a street in that area where a dozen crimes happened in one month.

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RIPR News
2:59 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

U.S. Attorney Takes Death Penalty off the Table for Jason Pleau, Who will Plead Guilty

The man at the center of a legal tug-of-war between Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the U.S. Attorney’s office over the death penalty will plead guilty to murder charges and will not face the death penalty.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha’s office says 35-year-old Jason Pleau will plead guilty by way of a federal indictment for the 2010 robbery and murder of a Woonsocket gas station manager. And as part of a plea deal his office will not seek a death sentence.  

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Education
3:23 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

RWU Bringing Nonprofit HousingWorks RI into the Fold

Credit Roger Williams University

Roger Williams University is bringing HousingWorks RI into its fold. HousingWorks is a local nonprofit that studies affordable housing and economic development.

Associate Vice President for University Relations, Pete Wilbur, said HousingWorks RI already operates out of the university’s facility in Providence, and faculty members are on the board. He said making the nonprofit part of the university gives students hands on opportunities.

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RI News
5:13 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Body Found of RI Teen off Conimicut Point

The Coast Guard said the body of a 16-year-old boy has been found just off Conimicut Point in Warwick. The boy has been identified as Javon Jimenez of Providence. He went missing Sunday evening after being swept off a sandbar, another boy was swept away but he was able to swim away and be rescued.

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RI Economy
3:05 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Extended Benefits for RI Unemployed to be cut in August

What's called Tier 4 unemployment benefits will be cut in Rhode Island starting August 10th.
Credit file

Starting next month, extended unemployment benefits will drop from 73 weeks to 63 weeks. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training said the cut comes thanks to lower unemployment numbers.

States with an average unemployment rate of 9 percent or higher can offer what’s called Tier 4 of federal unemployment benefits that lasts for ten weeks. But because Rhode Island’s June unemployment rate of 8.9 percent brought the state’s average down below the threshold, it can no longer offer those ten weeks of extra benefits.

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Environment
10:23 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Conservation Law Foundation Plans to Sue RI Landfill

The Conservation Law Foundation said it plans to file a lawsuit against the operators of the Central Landfill and the companies involved in converting methane gas from the landfill into power. Director of the Conservation Law Foundation in Rhode Island, Tricia Jedele, said the landfill has been running without a required federal permit for 16 years.

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Transportation
4:06 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Amtrak Slows Trains along Entire Northeast Corridor

Rail temperatures exceeding 120 degrees have forced Amtrak to slow down trains along the Northeast Corridor.
Credit file / RIPR

In a rare move, Amtrak has slowed down trains along the Northeast Corridor due to the heat. Amtrak trains travel at speeds reaching more than 100 mph, but on Thursday they’re going about 60mph.

Sensors along the track show rail temperatures at more than 120 degrees. And Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said those hot rails pose safety concerns. “They can under some rare circumstances expand. So the thought process behind any restriction in speed is to have the trains going at a lower than normal speed to make it less problematic in case there were an issue with the track,” said Cole.

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